American Android device owners have had the pleasure of visiting Amazon’s app store for a daily free treat, and a host of regularly priced apps, for more than a year. During this time, the online company showed no signs of opening the store up internationally.
This isn’t unusual behavior for Amazon either, as the original Kindle eReader didn’t leave US shores for two years, and many of Amazon’s international portals don’t have on-demand movies or access to the Cloud Drive either.
Rumors that Amazon would fling open the doors to its application store to at least some of the world have circulated for a while, then yesterday, a press release was issued requesting developers submit their apps ready for “international distribution,” and that the Amazon Appstore would be doing business in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain very soon.
The Amazon Appstore offers several benefits over Google Play, including Test Drive, where apps and games can be tried on your computer, and ease of purchase using an Amazon account.
Amazon’s controversial free app of the day is a considerable draw too, although developers have bemoaned it benefits the company far more than it does them. Since it opened, Amazon has scored several exclusive apps too, most notably Angry Birds Rio, and has recently introduced its own in-app purchasing system.
Kindle Fire too?
But news that the app store will soon be available in five European countries has given hope to those wanting the other great, missing Amazon product — the Kindle Fire tablet. If Amazon wants to the store to grow in these new locations, the Fire really needs to come too, as the fuel of Amazon’s services is essential to its operation.
Anyone wanting to use the Amazon Appstore on their Android phone or tablet must first download an app, while the store comes pre-installed on the Fire. Enticing existing Amazon customers won’t be that difficult, but attracting new customers will be much harder, especially without a flashy, reasonably priced tablet to help.
The timing could also be key, especially if Google does announce a cheap, internationally available, high-spec Nexus tablet at Google I/O next week. Could Amazon be preparing a new Kindle tablet as a response? After all, it was the second generation Kindle eReader which was first sold all over the world.
Amazon hasn’t provided an exact date for the international opening of the Appstore, only that it will be during the summer, nor has it indicated the Kindle Fire will be accompanying it.